Redbud &
Dogwood Care
Redbuds and Dogwoods are fussy and finicky about the places they will grow. They need well drained
soil that is loose and contains a lot of organic matter and regular deep watering for at least the first year.
Your goal is to cause the roots to grow quickly so they can move nutrients and water to the tree as
efficiently as possible.

DO NOT plant in heavy clay soil where the roots would stay soggy for long periods of time!  In this
environment, the roots will rot and the tree will die.

DO NOT plant in overly sandy soil. Redbuds and Dogwoods often succumb to dryness during the
summer drought periods. Too much drainage will make effective watering very difficult as it will sieve
directly through the soil. The roots will then be left dry and susceptible to dessication.

DO incorporate peat moss into the soil when planting. Peat moss will not only aid in water retention, but
it also adds much needed organic matter for nutrition.  Thirdly, peat moss aids in lowering the pH.
Redbuds and Dogwoods require acidic soil conditions in order for them to properly take up nutrients.

DO use a root stimulant such as 'Dragon Plant Starter' solution which will aid in speedy root growth.
MiracleGro or other water soluble fertilizers may be used for this purpose if they are more readily
available to you. Always water thoroughly with plain water before adding a fertilizer so as to not burn the
roots. We recommend using a liquid fertilizer for root growth once every week for a three week period.
Always follow manufacturer instructions for mixing and dispensing your product.

Dig a hole wider but NOT DEEPER than the size of the pot in which is was grown. After incorporating
peat moss into your existing soil, plant so that the top of the soil in the pot is level with the ground level.
It is very important to NOT BURY THE TREE.  If it is planted too deeply, it will suffocate. If it is planted
above ground level, it will succumb to dryness.  Digging a wide hole is necessary for easy root
establishment. Roots will always move out laterally before down vertically. Loosening and incorporating
peat moss will aid in their movement.

Mulch with bark mulch or pine needles. DO NOT use stone. Stone compacts the roots!  Only a couple
inches of mulch are necessary. DO NOT pile the mulch around the trunk. Place mulch over root zone,
not against the tree.

Correct watering is very important. Let water dribble slowly out of the hose for at least an hour. This will
ensure good soaking of the root area. Continue to water in this way every two to three days faithfully for
at the minimum one year. Obviously, this will be tempered by weather and soil conditions. Don't  
indescriminately water. Check the soil for moisture and pay attention to the weather. If we are in
drought, water more.... If it is an extended drought, or if we have a dry winter, you will need to water
faithfully much longer than one year. Essentially, you need to be prepared to take care of these trees for
a lifetime.

However, you will be well-rewarded for your diligence. The flowers will be incredible and the tree habit is
astounding.  Sometimes, it takes a few years to see flowers due to the tree putting energy into its roots.
This is good. Don't get impatient and don't expect instant results. It takes time, but it's worth every effort.
2346 Blue Star Highway - Fennville, Michigan  49408
(269)543-3761 - fax (269)543-8771